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Since the early history of medicine in Minnesota, local medical societies have played an important role in organized medicine, working in conjunction with the Minnesota Medical Association and the American Medical Association. In 1853, 11 young physicians gathered in the territory that would become testate of Minnesota and founded our medical society. Ever since then, Minnesota physicians have stood together, working to safeguard the quality of medical care and the future of their profession.


In 1855, the Union Medical Society, which was the precursor of the Hennepin County Medical Society, was founded with Dr. A. E. Ames as president -- the first county medical society in the territory. In 1860, the second county medical society was organized -- the St. Paul Academy of Medicine and Surgery, with Dr. Thomas R. Potts as president. In 1869, when the Minnesota State Medical Society was reorganized, the St. Paul society became the Ramsey County Medical Society (1870). That same year Dakota, Goodhue and Winona counties established their local county medical societies.


By 1872, there were six county medical societies organized in the state and by 1900, 15 local and county societies were recognized. The ties between state and component societies were loose until 1902 when the American Medical Association issued anew constitution and bylaws that forged a strong working relationship among the county, state, and national associations.

Vivid accounts of the launching of the Ramsey County Medical Society were published in the Ramsey County Medical Society Journal in the July/August issue in 1995.


The MMA compiled many historical documents in 2003 during the anniversary celebration. Minnesota Medicine; September 2003/Volume 86. Of special interest is "Of History and a Few Good Men" which is reproduced in this web site under Medicine in Minnesota- Founding of Ramsey County medical Society. In this account Dr. John Coleman M.D. describes the Launching of the Ramsey County Medical Society, and gives an account of the years surrounding the beginning of the Ramsey County Medical Society" Ramsey County Medical Society Journal, July/August, 1995 written for the 125thanniversary of the RCMS. http://www.metrodoctors.com/topic_detail.cfm?id=15


The below topics can be found at http://.www.mma.org
1. History of the MMA
2. History of Medicine in Minnesota
3. Local Component Societies
4. Read Timeline of MMA History
5. Memories and Quotes


To celebrate its 150th anniversary, the Minnesota Medical Association planned special benefits and events for members.

Lapel pin. Every physician who joins or renews membership in the Minnesota Medical Association in 2003, the MMA 150th anniversary year, will receive a commemorative lapel pin.


The welcome Reception of the MMA 2003 Annual Meeting at the Marriott Hotel in Rochester included a video presentation on the history of the MMA and the chance to mingle with historic interpreters portraying physicians who practiced medicine in Minnesota in the 1800s. History on the MMA Web site has information about the history of the Minnesota Medical Association since its beginnings in 1853. The MMA will continue to add new information, gradually bringing our history up to date.


Minnesota Medicine, September 2003; Volume 86 is a special historic issue. During 2003 articles about the history of the MMA appeared regularly in Minnesota Medicine.


MMA 150th Anniversary -- History of Medicine in Minnesota

Minnesota has been in the vanguard of important discoveries and advances in medicine including the first cholecystectomy in the United States, performed by Justus Ohage, M.D., at St. Joseph's Hospital in St.Paul, and the development of open heart surgery at the University of Minnesota.


To read about the highlights of medicine in Minnesota, visit these Websites:

Medical Research Firsts -- University of Minnesota: http://mbbnet.umn.edu/firsts/historic.html

   * University Of Minnesota Medical School: Biomedical Achievement Gallery

   * "Medical Research Firsts in Medical Devices, Procedures, Health Care and Bioscience, 1950-1980"


History of Mayo Clinic:

   * Mayo Clinic History http://www.mayoclinic.org/tradition-heritage/

   * History of Research at Mayo Clinic


History of St. Mary's Hospital at Mayo Clinic:

   * History of St. Mary's Hospital


History of St. Joseph's Hospital:

   * History of St. Joseph's Hospital


Owen H. Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine: The library is a collection of approximately 60,000 rare and out-of-print books, manuscripts, and journals dating from the early 1400s to 1920.

   * Owen H. Wagensteen Historical Library (University Of Minnesota)


The Bakken Library and Museum: The library and museum holds rare books and scientific instruments relating to the role of electricity in life. The Bakken was founded in 1975 by Earl E. Bakken, inventor of the first transistorized cardiac pacemaker.


The Lillehei Heart Institute: The Lillehei Heart Institute is an inter-disciplined research institute within the University of Minnesota's Academic Health Center and Medical School. It was named in honor of C. Walton Lillehei, "the father of open-heart surgery."

   * The Lillehei Heart Institute


Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare: The Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare was founded in 1911 in St. Paul by future MMA President Arthur Gillette, M.D. Although the hospital underwent several name changes through the years and now boasts several clinics in Minnetonka, New Brighton, and northern Minnesota, it has maintained its focus of caring for children who have disabilities. The hospital's Web site contains historical information about the hospital and a chronology. The site also contains information about "We Hold This Treasure: The Story of Gillette Children's Hospital, "by Steven E. Koop, M.D. More about the book is also available in the bibliography section.

   * The Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare History


Minneapolis Public Library: The Minneapolis Public Library has compiled a history of Minneapolis. The section includes a brief history of the city and smaller essays examining the development of key institutions (industries, newspapers, the University of Minnesota) and social services (medicine, education, religion). The site also contains historic photos.


Information taken from John Coleman’s article is in the Ramsey County section on the MMA website.